Monday Morning: 18 Mar 2019 – Romans 4:1-15 ~ Children of the Promise.

Monday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (Collect for Purity)

Almighty God: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Romans 4:1-15 (NLT)

The Faith of Abraham

Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God? If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. For the Scriptures tell us,

“Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”

When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it:

“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.”

Now, is this blessing only for the Jews, or is it also for uncircumcised Gentiles? Well, we have been saying that Abraham was counted as righteous by God because of his faith. But how did this happen? Was he counted as righteous only after he was circumcised, or was it before he was circumcised? Clearly, God accepted Abraham before he was circumcised!

Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous—even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their faith. And Abraham is also the spiritual father of those who have been circumcised, but only if they have the same kind of faith Abraham had before he was circumcised.

Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless. For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!)
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Morning Reflection:

By Faith Alone and the Unity of the Bible.

Today’s reading identifies Abraham as the spiritual Father of all who put their faith and trust in God – whether Jew or Gentile. In so doing, the essential unity of the Old and New testaments is revealed –

All are made right with God by faith alone.

While the content of the revelation is in many respects different in the NT, the object of faith, namely, God, and the primacy of faith over works, has not changed. (Greg Herrick)

So what does this mean for us today? A right relationship with God is a gift of God’s grace received through faith –

+ There is nothing we can do to earn it or deserve it.

+ We are unable to save ourselves; grace is our only hope.

+ The observance of religious rites is of no value in securing it.

+ By faith, Christian believers participate in God’s promise to Abraham.

+ The forgiveness of sins is a necessary element of being made right with God.

Questions for consideration:

“The wonder of forgiveness has become a banality. It can be the death of our faith if we forget that it is literally a miracle.”—Helmut Thielicke

  • Do you view your relationship with God as a miracle? Please explain.

“What I envy most about you Christians is your forgiveness; I have nobody to forgive me” — Marghanita Laski, secular humanist and novelist, before her death in 1988.

  • Do you view yourself as a person who is forgiven and set free? Please explain.
  • How does that affect how you think, feel, and behave? Please explain.
  • Who needs to hear about God’s forgiveness before they die? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Heavenly Father: Thank you for the wonder of your amazing grace – my inclusion in your ageless family through faith in your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you for your undeserved mercy – the forgiveness of my sins through the sacrifice of your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you for the guidance of your Word and Spirit – leading me on when I had no idea where I was going. And thank you for securing for me a place in your eternal Kingdom – my true home and resting place forever. Amen.
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“By Faith” – Keith & Kristyn Getty

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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